Here’s some background on the current situation about the decision by Harper Collins to limit how many times one of their ebooks is checked out through the Overdrive. Harper Collins in the first publisher to make a limit like this, but from what I’ve read, it probably isn’t the last. That’s the basics, but here’s a more detailed rundown on why this is really important.
Also, here’s a list of the official reactions from libraries around the country.
And, here is what Timberland is doing: for now, we’re not buying (licensing rather) any more ebooks from Harper Collins through Overdrive. We’re not boycotting, but rather seeing how things shake out.
Last week during our board meeting, we got a short update from our collection staff on the situation in general and how we’re approaching it. While we’re not buying new licenses, we’re not boycotting. We’re simply seeing how this works out in the weeks ahead.
Some additional thoughts (from me, not from staff or other trustees):
- Overdrive is really the only vendor that provides this sort of service to libraries. While, I think they do a decent job, its not like vendors are lining up to compete for the lucrative library ebook market. That there is no other vendor out there negotiating different terms with publishers or authors has something to do with this.
- It isn’t like we don’t have to purchase new books when old ones wear out. Digital copies don’t wear out, but publishers are used to a system were a library will purchase a lot of popular titles and replace them after a lot of use. Probably not just 26 times, but at some point, we replace books. I don’t necessarily agree with what Harper Collins is doing, or think its good for them in the long run, but I understand their reasoning.